Apps + Store

Setting up My Family for Windows Phone

My Family is the way to turn on and manage app and game downloads for your child's Windows Phone. When you set up a "family" (which includes your child's Microsoft account and one or more parent accounts) you'll be able to choose what types of app downloads you'd like to allow (free, paid, both or none). You'll also be able to set the rating level for the games your child can install.

Note

This topic is about Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, some options and icons may look a little different, and some features may not be available. Check to see which software version you have and find out if an update is available.

My Family works with Microsoft Family Safety, a service designed to help you keep tabs on kids' computer and online activities. If your child uses a PC or Xbox, you may already have set up a family in order to use parental controls. Whether you set up your family on windowsphone.com or on another service, you'll be able to view and manage your family on the Family Safety website.

Adults and children have different rights when it comes to managing the family. Any adult member can add new members and manage kids' download settings, but adults can't change the settings on another adult's account. Kids can sign in to My Family, but they can't make any changes there.

When you set up My Family for the first time, you'll need to sign in with an email address and password from a parent or guardian's Microsoft account. That person will be the family's primary parent, and is the only person who can remove the family from Family Safety. Once you've set up the family's primary parent, you won't be able to change it.

After you've set up My Family with a parent account, you'll need to sign in to it with the Microsoft account your child uses to sign in to their phone. That will enable your child to download apps and games from the Windows Phone Store. If you want your child to be able to download Xbox games as well, you'll need to go to the Xbox website and accept the Xbox Terms of Use on their behalf.

Running into issues? See My Family FAQ for answers to some common setup questions.

To set up My Family so a child can download apps and games

  1. On your computer, go to My Family on the Windows Phone website.

  2. Sign in using the parent's Microsoft account. If the parent doesn't have a Windows Phone, that's fine – you can still set up My Family. If the parent doesn't have a Microsoft account, you'll have the chance to create one.

  3. On the My Family setup page, click Get started. (If you've added a child to My Family before or have set up a family using another Microsoft service, you may not see Getting started and can just click Add a kid.)

  4. To add a child to My Family, click Go. On the sign-in page, enter the Microsoft account the child uses to sign in to their phone. Now the child can download apps from the Windows Phone Store.

    Notes

    • Creating an online account for a child under 13 with the country/region set to US requires adult verification using a US-based credit card. For more information, see My Family FAQ.
    • If your child has a Windows Phone 8, you'll also need to accept the Windows Phone Store Terms of Use on the child's behalf for them to download apps and games from the Store. On the My Family page, next to the child's name, click Accept Terms of Use.
  5. To add another parent to My Family, click Add a parent on the My Family home page. Parents can jointly manage children's settings, but won't be able to change each other's settings. To remove a parent or child from My Family, go to the Microsoft Family Safety website.

  6. To enable the child to download Xbox games, go to Xbox.com, sign in with the child's account and follow the instructions to accept the Xbox Terms of Use. If the child's account doesn't already have an Xbox profile, you may need to create one.

    Notes

    • If you've already accepted the Xbox Terms of Use for your child (on your Xbox console, for instance), you won't need to accept it again, and you won't see instructions for doing so on Xbox.com.
    • Xbox.com does not allow sign-in by child accounts in all countries/regions.
    • If you've already set up an Xbox profile for your child, you might have a different parent account associated with it than the one you used to set up My Family on windowsphone.com. If so, you'll need to use that account to accept the Xbox Terms of Use on Xbox.com.

To change app download settings for a child

You can set whether or not a child can download apps and games from the Windows Phone Store and which game ratings you want the child to be able to view and download.

  1. On your computer, go to My Family on the Windows Phone website and sign in with the Microsoft account you've set up as a parent account.

  2. On the My Family home page, next to the child's name, click Change settings, then do any of the following:

    • To allow the child to purchase apps and games, under App+game downloads, select Allow free and paid.
    • To allow the child to download only free apps and games, under App+game downloads, select Allow free only. This will also prevent the child from making in-app purchases, even from within free apps.
    • To prevent the child from downloading any apps or games, under App+game downloads, select Don't allow.
    • To set the most mature game rating you want the child to be able to browse or download, turn on the Game rating filter. To go to the Microsoft Family Safety website and change the rating, click Change rating.
    • To allow the child to browse and download unrated games, tick the checkbox next to Allow unrated games. (Some unrated games might have content that's inappropriate for your child.)

    Notes

    • Many games are rated according to the appropriateness of their content for various age groups, but apps are not.
    • When the Game rating filter is turned off, the game rating settings are hidden. Turn it on to reveal them.

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